Porter amends bylaws, seals affiliation deal

MIDDLEBURY — The members of Porter Medical Center voted unanimously at the PMC annual meeting last Wednesday night to amend the Porter bylaws, which represented the final step for the Middlebury institution to complete an affiliation with the University of Vermont Health Network.
The affiliation will become effective in April, and the formal community launch is planned for May 11 during National Hospital Week.
“This vote by our members, by our community, is an historic powerful confirmation of the very diligent, comprehensive and forward-looking strategic planning process we have been engaged in for more than a year,” said PMC Board Chair Maureen McLaughlin. “After multiple meetings with our internal and external constituencies, as well as comprehensive analyses of how this affiliation will enhance our mission to serve our community, our corporate members have now formally voted to approve the required bylaw amendments to conclude this process.”
Porter CEO Dr. Fred Kniffin applauded this vote and enthusiastically supports this decision.
“I am confident that this affiliation will lead to even greater collaboration between Porter and UVM Health Network to improve access to health care and specialized services, and allow Porter to continue to fulfill our mission and improve the overall health of our community,” he said.
McLaughlin added that the affiliation will continue Porter’s quest to work in the best interest of the community and of the people who make up the medical center and affiliated practices.
“Our underlying motivation was ensuring continued local access to high-quality healthcare services, with a focus on clinical integration, improving our facilities and ensuring our overall financial strength to ensure that Porter remains a strong integral partner in this community for the next 100 years,” she said.
During the affiliation negotiations and at various community presentations, Kniffin emphasized that Porter and the UVM Health Network agreed early on that maintaining the current array of clinical services that Porter now offers is essential, as well as a mutual desire to bring more specialized medical care to the community and allow Porter to work collaboratively to secure closer clinical integration with the academic medical center.
“These have been our priorities all along, and we feel that this affiliation with the UVM Health Network is our best path forward to accomplish all of these goals,” Kniffin said.
During the past year, he has specifically pointed to bringing a common electronic medical record system; enhanced access to clinical, quality and financial expertise; and construction of a new medical office building as specific and vitally important elements of this affiliation.
“We are excited, we are enthusiastic, and we are ready to begin this new chapter in the history of Porter Medical Center to build upon a strong foundation of care and to enhance those services for the current and next generation of our patients and residents,” Kniffin said.
Dr. John Brumsted, the president and CEO of UVM Health Network welcomed the Porter board’s move to cement the affiliation.
“Porter Medical Center’s decision to join the UVM Health Network is very significant because of the deliberative process, including a special effort to include the whole community to carefully examine all of the options,” said Brumsted, who is also CEO of UVM Medical Center. “The greater Middlebury community has benefitted, and will continue to benefit, from Dr. Fred Kniffin’s leadership.”
According to Kniffin, more detailed information about the planned formal community launch on May 11 will be distributed to the community shortly.

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